Friday, October 8, 2010

Flashback Friday: Daddy's Girl

When I read my friend Tia's Flashback post about her dad teaching her to ride a bike I was completely touched. I am also a Daddy's girl... always have been. In high school he was my best friend, I could talk to him about anything and usually that took place before bed, I would sit with him and watch TV and talked for hours... that's how I got the nickname "Gabby". I haven't seen my dad in 2 years.. in fact it is 2 years today that he flew in to Arkansas to see me.

My dad got sick back in 2000... he worked for Freightliner (the truck company). He started passing out at work and started going into what we called "the box". Dad went to several specialists and was tested for everything from cancer to huntingtons disease. It wasn't until about a year later we found out he had Celiac Sprue Disease. Celiac Sprue is a gluten intolerance that destroys the stomach and upper small intestine. It goes hand in hand with lactose intolerance, osteoporosis and many other diseases and disorders. Dad developed some extreme and very rare symptoms including stuttering, memory loss and involuntary movement of his head.

As I said earlier, he would go into what we called "the box". This was a scary time for dad and us kids. "The box" was when dad's mind shut down... he didn't know where he was, who he was or who we were. Dad has been gluten free for about 10 years now and he still suffers from the memory loss, stuttering and the shaking of his head.

The photo I am going to share with you today was taken in December 2000 shortly after dad got sick. If you notice, he is in a wheel chair... he spent a lot of time in that chair back then because this illness drained him of all his energy. This picture was taken at family fun night at my little brother's elementary school. My dad is awesome.

Flashback Friday Button


  1. I so wish I were better at this Flashback stuff. lol Nice pic!

  2. Oh, so glad you have your Dad. Thanks for being so courageous in sharing.

  3. What a great picture of you and your dad. Thanks for sharing your story. Take care.

  4. I hate gluten, and what it does to the body. I'm so sorry that your dad suffers so badly, Sarah. I can't even imagine having to watch your Dad go through that. I know that since I've gone gluten free, my life has completely changed. Who knew that something so common, so everyday, something as simple as "flour", could make us so so sick? Does your Dad have a lot of support, where he is? Hes improved a lot, right? No longer in a wheelchair? What an awful thing to have to experience. I can tell how much you love him though, and it literally gives me chills. Happy chills, of course. Goose pimples :)

  5. Hey Tia! Yeah its a major bummer to find out that a basic food staple could kill him! Dad's life has completely changed since going gluten free. He still stutters, shakes and has memory loss but he doesn't spend all of his time in a wheel chair anymore. He does use a cane and on his really bad days he will use his chair. Dad has great doctors in Portland... specialists who have taken great care of him. Buddy and Kari do the best they can with providing him with support as well but they both have families now and jobs and Buddy is back in college. Thanks for your comment.